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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree in Literature and Culture

Majors Overview May 18, 2014

Virtually every occupational field requires critical thinking skills and a broad base, which can be provided with a bachelor’s degree in literature and culture. Graduates of Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree programs in Literature and Culture can continue to the doctorate level or look into careers involving business or science.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree Programs in Literature and Culture

Students enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Literature and Culture program can expect to understand the world, different cultures, and in turn, themselves and other individuals better. Students are taught about the social fabric, language, history, music, and writing of numerous ancient and contemporary cultures. Focused programs on a particular era, people, or region are offered by many schools that offer a culture and literature concentration within a BA in English. Specific specializations may also be found by students enrolled in a culture and literature program; these include regional, cinematic, or ancient studies. Schools offer most programs on campus.

Coursework

Many schools offer interdisciplinary coursework that delves into the languages, literature, and art of one or multiple cultures. Coursework varies by program and may include the history of the region, country or people, mythology, film, classical and contemporary arts, and creative writing styles. Coursework may commonly include topic areas such as:

•Language and Communication
•Regional literature
•Foreign languages
•Art history
•Archaeology and anthropology
•Ancient history
•Cultural studies

Development of Skills

Skills in key performance areas are developed by students enrolled in a Literature and Culture BA program; these include critical thinking, interpersonal understanding, written communication, and problem solving.

They also improve their literacy skills, become more fluent in oral and written communication, and learn to develop presentation, analytical, and research tools, in addition to understanding why cultural differences are important. Each skill is highly applicable in a work setting, as every industry values interpersonal relationship building, decision-making, communication, writing, and reading.

Career Information

Students enrolled in a BA in Literature and Culture program can apply the skills and knowledge gained in the program to numerous occupations and fields, such as writing and editing and teaching.

Writing and Editing

Writers with a bachelor’s degree in literature and culture can expect the degree to prove helpful in the employment of research skills leading to the creation of clear, relevant works, such as film scripts, articles, and books, among other publications. The program will also arm editors with the grammar and social awareness skills that would be helpful while proofreading, correcting, making suggestions, and rewriting copy for written pieces, such as advertisements, news stories, and novels. Over the 2012-2022 decade, 3,800 new writing jobs are expected to be created (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). However, those who lack familiarity with online media could suffer a decline in opportunities for editing jobs. In 2012, writers banked an average annual wage of $55,940, while editors took home $62,440.

Teaching

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree are qualified for a teaching credential or license, which they would need to pursue teaching jobs in public high, middle, and elementary schools. A bachelor’s degree may be accepted by some postsecondary schools and colleges from aspiring teachers; however, most schools – especially at the university level – expect job aspirants to have a master’s or doctoral degree. Over the 2012-2022 decade, about 167,000 teaching jobs are expected to be created at the elementary school level (BLS). In 2012, high, middle, and elementary school teachers banked an average annual wage of about $56,500. Only around 10,600 new jobs were anticipated for English language and literature postsecondary teachers, though they earned around 20% more than those teaching lower grades.

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